Academic journal article Notes

Early This Year

Academic journal article Notes

Early This Year

Article excerpt

Early this year, while sitting in the editorial offices of NOTES, situated high atop NOTES Tower in downtown Urbana, I began reflecting on the history of our journal. Over the course of its fifty-five volumes, the journal has remained remarkably unchanged. We still see the same useful mix of articles, reviews, and lists of new publications as found in volumes from the 1940s and 1950s. Obviously editor Richard S. Hill exercised extraordinary foresight in 1943 when he conceived a journal that would serve music librarians as well in the 1990s as it would in the 1940s.

As my reverie continued, I pushed away from my mahogany desk and walked across the room to the picture window overlooking NOTES Plaza. Below, tiny figures were circling in pairs--couples on the ice rink, skating arm-in-arm in the January cold. At the opposite end of the plaza, snow blanketed the reflecting pool, and the fountain was still. I moved away from the window and returned to my desk. Had there been limits to Hill's foresight? Surely he had a lot on his mind during those early years. Did he consider the possibility that the association's fledgling journal would eventually cross the bridge to the next century? I walked over to the wall of mahogany bookcases standing adjacent to the wet bar and searched through early installments of "Notes for NOTES" for some evidence. Finding none there, I decided to review archival copies of early NOTES correspondence, housed in filing cabinets in the hallway leading to the sundeck. My pulse quickened as I flipped through page after page and found no reference to the prospect of a twenty-first-century NOTES.

I fell back onto the leather couch next to the entrance to the sauna and tried to calm myself. That morning I had read an article in the local newspaper about the possibility of frightful crises on the first day of the new century. The paper painted a grim picture: doctors struggling to care for patients in darkened hospitals, streets spilling over with rioting and looting, airplanes falling out of the sky. …

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